Lawmakers are working against an Oct. 17 deadline for raising the nation's borrowing limit. 

Treasury and the White House have warned that if the limit is not lifted, the government could default on its debt, leading to a recession. 

Mikulski, the Senate Appropriations Committee Chairwoman, urged her colleagues to support a measure from Senate Majority Leader Harry ReidHarry ReidDraft House bill ignites new Yucca Mountain fight Week ahead: House to revive Yucca Mountain fight Warren builds her brand with 2020 down the road MORE (D-Nev.) that would raise the debt ceiling by nearly $1 trillion. A procedural vote to advance that legislation is scheduled for Saturday.

It's unclear whether Reid will have the votes. The measure would raise the debt ceiling but would not cut spending, and it could be difficult for Republicans to back a "clean" debt ceiling hike.

"If we as a nation are going to incur more debt, then we need to find real savings," Sen. John BarrassoJohn BarrassoPoll: Sanders most popular senator in the US The animal advocate Trump climate move risks unraveling Paris commitments MORE (R-Wyo.) said Thursday. "It’s time to set [spending] priorities."

The House is expected to pass its own short-term debt-ceiling extension, possibly later this week, but many Republicans are trying to add language that would cut entitlement programs, including ObamaCare.